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MACTA acts as your advocates at the Minnesota Legislature and at the federal level. We're working to improve telecommunications for cities like yours.


July 25, 2018


Federal Preemption Threats Related to Broadband Deployment

Members Urged to Submit Letters of Opposition

Accelerating Wireless Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WT Docket No. 17-79; Accelerating Broadband Deployment, Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee, GN Docket No. 17-83; Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment, WC Docket No. 17-84; Streamlining Deployment of Small Cell Infrastructure, WT Docket No. 16-421.


Dear MACTA Members,


The FCC has several pending proceedings addressing broadband deployment in which the Commission is considering significant preemption of local authority that is likely to impact cable services.


After meeting recently with FCC staff NATOA and the National League of Cities believes the FCC assumes that small cells are small and easy to deploy, justifying short shot clocks and low caps on permit costs, for example.


“It is not clear that the range of issues local government has to address—ensuring ADA clearance, pole load issues, line of sight for vehicles/pedestrians, other utilities operating in the same space, etc.—are well understood by the FCC,” noted NATOA’s General Counsel Nancy Werner.


Industry has been meeting regularly with FCC staff, so its perspective is well documented. Some of what industry is proposing includes: shot clocks on local review and approval of use of the rights of way (ROW), municipal poles and other public property by small cell providers/hosts; deemed granted remedies when the shot clock expires; caps on fees for use of the ROW and for use of poles/other public property; limits on authority to manage the location and aesthetics of deployments, including mandates that small cell antennas (including poles) and equipment be allowed above-ground where other utilities have been undergrounded.


The FCC needs to hear our stories. We are urging you to submit letters clearly articulating the practical issues your local governments must address and manage, as well as opposition to preemptive action by the FCC to better illustrate how industry’s proposals will impact our communities.


NATOA has offered a general template that may be helpful in drafting a letter to file in these dockets. Please feel free to use it as a guide as you document your city’s issues and perspectives. It is important for local governments to build a presence in all of the dockets listed in the template, which you can do by including each docket in the subject line of the letter (as provided in the template) and listing each docket number in the “Proceeding(s)” section of the FCC’s electronic comment filing system.


You have the option of e-filing as either an attachment at or as an express filing at


Minnesota cities may file their letters with the FCC between now and September 20.



MACTA to Share LMC Opposition to S. 3157 Bill

Members also encouraged to submit letters


The League of Minnesota Cities recently sent a letter to Senator Amy Klobuchar and copied Senator Tina Smith and eight members of the U.S. House of Representatives, opposing the S.3157 (Thune & Schatz Small Cell Bill), which proposes to significantly preempt local government authority over small cell deployments and use of municipal property (such as poles) in the rights of way.


The letter included information outlining how this legislation would impact Minnesota specifically, given recent changes to our state Right-of-Way Management law that includes small cell wireless deployment provisions.


MACTA will be sharing the LMC letter on behalf of its members and strongly encourages you to also submit similar opposition letters to S. 3157 from your local governments to our senators and representatives. It is important to share your individual stories.


Please let senators and representatives know how you are responding to small cell applications and how you are working with industry and complying with the new state statute. We recommend that you send your letters of opposition in the next several weeks.


Contact your U.S. Senators and Congress Members


Here is a list of U.S. Senators and Congress members along with their email addresses. Please share your positive stories of cooperatively working with industry to deploy small cell wireless technology and your opposition to S.3157 (Thune & Schatz) bill. Email is the preferred way to correspond with elected officials.


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